Thursday, May 26, 2011

I may be crazy, but it works for me

For whatever reason, I've found it necessary to get the house in order since the semester ended. Thankfully Chad has had a similar desire. Lots of stuff gets put on the back burner during the times we're both teaching, especially since I've been teaching a night class all year. And, you can forget anything non-mandatory getting done during the crunch of finals. It's easier than when I was taking finals, sure, but now I have two deadlines: 1) write an exam and 2) grade exams and turn in final grades. Still, I prefer this to taking them.

But, I digress. This post was/is supposed to be about our crazy burst of energy around the house. Some of it is stuff that we have to do (i.e., the limbs from our neighbor's tree that are hanging over our house MUST be cut if we want to keep our home owner's insurance), but some of it is just stuff that we think will make our lives easier in the long run. Chad's been negotiating with insurance companies and thinks that switching the car insurance to the same folks we have our home policy with will save us some money. I've canned jam (the second batch with his help, which makes it SO much more fun). We've both cleaned out closets and taken stuff to Goodwill. We've gone through many, many paper stacks that were threatening to take over our house (though we are FAR from finished with this task). And, we got our front yard looking like someone cares about it. All good things.

BUT, perhaps the things we're both most excited about (at least, I think he's excited about it too) are two google documents (thanks Christy for re-introducing me to this wonderful tool!) that promise to make our lives easier. The most important is a document that outlines our daily "chores." I don't know about you, but I get overwhelmed by housework. It feels never-ending and I let it pile up and then I don't want to do anything, which makes it worse. SO, I divided up the tasks throughout the week. There are some things that must be done everyday or most days (e.g., make C's lunch, wash the dishes, make the bed), but most stuff just gets assigned one day (e.g., sweep the floors, change the sheets). So far, I love it. Mostly because I thrive with a schedule. I did laundry tonight because the schedule told me today was laundry day. And, after I'd done the laundry I didn't feel guilty because there's dust on the furniture. The dust will have its day soon. I know that sounds silly, but it works for me. I crave the order and am loving it so far.

The other document lists things that we'd like to do around the house. It's broken up into different categories such as rearranging, decorating, and most pressing. And, for now there's a category for things that I want to do before C's b'day party if at all possible. I like it because it gives us some definite goals and because it lets us keep a centralized list that both of us can add to and edit. As an added bonus, I hope that it will help us with our budgeting. If we are saving for a particular thing (energy efficient windows, a new shower in our bathroom, etc.), maybe we'll (though I know it's mostly me!) think twice about some of our unneccessary purchases. That's the goal anyway.

Now all I need is a way to break up my dissertation. I need a schedule and not one that just says "write 1 page today." Seriously I'm overwhelmed again. I have far too many chapters started and not enough direction to complete them. But, I can't talk about that right now. Not yet. Maybe soon, but not today. Today I feel happy that we have some family/house plans. And, while that's a little thing, it sure is nice.


Rita Bird said...

I can be OCD in a strange way.

If my house gets too trashed I am so overwhelmed counting small detailed things I need to do that I can't function, so I let it go.

Please keep us updated how the list works out.

I tried to clean a room a day when I first started staying at home. It frustrated me that I couldn't even get that done.

Sometimes, to get motivation, I'll set a 15 minute timer and go through the house picking up until the timer goes off. I then decide if I'm going to continue or if I'll count those 15 minutes as a clean house.

Mandy Mc said...

Rita, I will definitely keep you posted. I imagine that this will work much better during the summer when neither Chad nor I are pressed for time at night. However, I'm hopeful that it will carry over into the school year. I decided to try the "task" approach instead of the room approach in part because, like you, I get overwhelmed by the multitude of tasks in that one space. Plus, I find that I often just move my stacks of paper from one room to another ;-)

PS I also think it is 100 times harder to keep the house decent when Cady's at home all day.

Sara-Beth said...

I'm OCD....loud and proud. My closet is arranged with pants/skirts on one side and shirts on the other....everything is in ROYGBIV order. Whites and blacks on the ends, of course.

HOWEVER, there are times when I absolutely would rather eat glass than dust/wash dishes/do laundry/clean the bathroom.

In my mind, a list would be perfect. In reality, I would probably spend time and money creating said list and then would shove it in my junk drawer and conveniently forget about it.

I hope it works for you....please keep everyone updated so we'll know if we should steal your idea. Good Luck!!

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